Sports Nutrition Knowledge, Perceptions, Resources, and Advice Given by Certified CrossFit Trainers

Sports (Basel). 2017 Mar 24;5(2):21. doi: 10.3390/sports5020021.


Background: CrossFit is a large, growing force in the fitness community. Currently, Level 1 and 2 CrossFit certification classes do not include nutrition education. The purpose of this study was to identify sports nutrition knowledge, perceptions, resources, and advice given by Certified CrossFit Trainers.

Methods: An online questionnaire that measured these four constructs was placed on a private Facebook community, open only to certified CrossFit trainers, for 10 days.

Results: Complete surveys were obtained from 289 CrossFit trainers. The mean Sport Nutrition Knowledge (SNK) score was 11.1 ± 2.1, equivalent to 65.3% ± 12.4% correct. The trainers perceived nutrition to be extremely important to athletic performance (9.4 ± 0.9 on a 10 point scale). Overall, the trainers graded their SNK higher than that of their CrossFit peers. The internet and CrossFit peers were the most frequently reported sources for nutrition information; Registered Dietitians were the least reported source. The Paleo and Zone diets were the most common dietary regimens recommended by CrossFit trainers. Results indicated a positive correlation between a CrossFit trainer's self-reported hours of nutrition education and their SNK score (r = 0.17; p < 0.01).

Conclusion: Nutrition education modules for Level 1 and 2 CrossFit trainers, developed with input from Board Certified Specialists in Sports Dietetics, are recommended.

Keywords: Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD); CrossFit trainers; Paleo diet; Registered Dietitians (RD); sports nutrition knowledge.